Red Eared Slider Size?

So are you wondering about how big a Red Eared Slider can get in his lifetime? Well, your thinking is valid. Before going for a longer commitment to having a long-lived and messy pet like Red Eared Slider, it is better to know everything about it. Even having an idea about Red Eared Sliders maximum size can help you to decide how you should make its habitat.

Those factors play a very crucial role in determining the growth potential your Red Eared Slider would reach in his lifetime. So lets dive into knowing how these factors influence growth of a Red Eared Slider:

The diet of a Red Eared Slider includes Meat, different sorts of worms, crickets, fish, vegetables, fruits, insects, and so many other things. But the meats come with a lot of proteins and other stuff that can ensure the rapid growth of the Red Eared Slider. It is very noticeable that during the hatchling stage the Red Eared Sliders prefer to eat meaty foods mostly.

If you are having a hard time choosing a proper diet plan for your Red Eared Slider, you can always have a consultation with a veterinarian. This UVB light has a vital role in the growth of a reptile living in an artificial environment and Red Eared Sliders are no different. Red Eared Sliders need to bask in the sun so that they can get exposed to having some vitamin D. UVB light does the same for them.

Setting up a basking area for the Red Eared Sliders like the natural habitat can contribute significantly to their growth. If a Red Eared Slider gets an ideal habitat for him with a well-built basking spot, then it will be able to reach its full potential of growth. Often wild Red Eared Sliders fail to find foods for them or a suitable place to stay safe.

I wanted to make sure that I hadnt left any stone unturned regarding the proper care of my Red Eared Slider. But after having proper research, I understood the fact that with age, the growth rate of pet Red Eared Slider also decreases. In this segment, I would like to help you to get some idea about the expected growth potential of Red Eared Turtles at different ages.

Since I was always in touch with a reptile veterinarian regarding the well-being of my turtle and always maintained a proper diet plan, ensured a proper environment, basking area, and everything, lets assume ensuring all these how a Red Eared Turtle is expected to grow in the different stages: So after having a proper consultation with the veterinarian and those who already have the experience of having a Red Eared Turtle for a long time I have had some ideas regarding it.

How big is a 1 year old red-eared slider?

The first years of their lives are crucial in terms of growth. With a balanced diet, assuming all other conditions are met, you can expect your baby turtle to reach size up to 3 inches in the first year or two. As they get older, their growth rate will slow down reaching 12 inches as adults.

How long does it take for a red-eared slider to grow full size?

It can take about 8 years for red-eared sliders to reach their full length, which is generally between 18 to 30 cm (7 to 12 inches). Of course, the growth rate varies from one individual to another. Variations are usually by an inch or 2.

Why is it illegal to have a red-eared slider?

Since 1975, however, selling baby turtles that are less than 4 inches long has been illegal in the U.S., because some reptiles—red-eared sliders included—can harbor salmonella on their skin.

Are red-eared sliders big?

Male red-eared sliders are smaller than females, but they have longer tails. Adults typically range from 5-9 inches (13-23 cm) in length, although females may reach 12-13 in (30-33 cm).

There are many people buying these animals without even considering searching for their requirements. They dont educate themselves enough about keeping red eared sliders, they dont know what to do, and what not to do.

In this post, well cover all these factors and explain their correlation with the red eared slider maximum growth size. Red eared sliders are omnivores, and in general, a healthy baby turtle will accept a wide variety of foods.

As we said earlier, red eared sliders are omnivores, which means their diet consists of vegetables, fruits, and meat. Baby red eared slider turtles are small in size, reaching no more than 1 inch in length. With a balanced diet, assuming all other conditions are met, you can expect your baby turtle to reach size up to 3 inches in the first year or two.

Your pet turtle is getting all the things they need for a healthier life, while wild red eared sliders are left on the mercy of nature. On the contrary, wild red eared slider turtles need to deal with the winter and the worsening weather conditions that come with it. Wild turtles hibernate in order to survive, losing energy and important nutrients in the process.

Their small size, unique patterns, and docile personality make them a great choice. It is almost impossible to find a turtle as interesting and affordable. Red-Ears are also some of the most active and interesting turtles. They can be a great addition to any home willing to put in the effort.

If this was not enough, in 2018, Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was officially confirmed to be a RedEared Slider. A Turtle Is Not Just For Christmas Many redeared sliders have since been released outside of their native range, either as abandoned pets or as part of rituals.

Breeding populations have been discovered in a variety of new US states, European countries, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Central America. Like most aquatic turtles, they need an aquarium with plenty of space, dcor, and perches. Heat and UVB are also essential, so fixtures and thermostats are needed to create a suitable habitat.

It can be difficult for first time keepers to set up and maintain a proper tank for these turtles . They need lots of space and are generally better pets for more experienced turtle enthusiasts. In general, you will need to provide specialized heating, UVB lights, dcor, clean water, proper nutrition, and both swimming and basking areas.

Aquatic reptiles live totally in water, with the exception of coming ashore to lay eggs. They spend the majority of their time either in the water foraging or basking on rocks and logs. In the wild, these turtles inhabit freshwater areas with still or slowly flowing water .

They need water to swim in, logs and perches to bask on and a UVB bulb to provide artificial sunlight. It is also important to choose the best dcor and substrates to promote natural behaviors and prevent boredom. If you use a metal stock tank, you will need a pond liner to prevent chemical leakage into the water.

A good rule of thumb is that the tank should be 5x the length of your turtle, 3x as wide and at least 2x as tall. To avoid health complications, your turtle needs access to a tube-style, full-spectrum 10.0 UVB bulb. It is important to make sure that the logs and perches are placed within the high effectivity distance of the bulb.

For the basking spot, you should use a material that your turtle can easily climb onto without scratching itself, such as cork or a smooth rock. If the ambient room temperature is at or above 75, a UVB lamp over the basking spot is sufficient for heating. However, it will make cleaning more difficult, so many keepers choose to avoid substrate in turtle tanks.

Large rocks or driftwood pieces can be used to create a dynamic swimming environment . If you use large river rocks, make sure that they are smooth and wont injure your slider. Between food waste and fecal matter, these tanks can become dirty quickly and lead to health issues.

It is quite common for Sliders to get sick because of husbandry-related issues like shell rot, skin ulcers, respiratory problems, conjunctivitis and metabolic bone disease. Many reptile veterinarians treat RedEared Sliders with illnesses that could easily have been prevented with proper care. Shell rot and skin ulcers are typically caused by poor enclosure maintenance or a lack of heat.

Without regular water changes and cleaning, these turtles are at an increased risk of developing smelly, rotting sores on their shells and skin. Like most other pet reptiles , Red-Ears require Ultraviolet B (UVB) lighting along with their calcium supplements to grow and develop properly. Finally, if a RedEared Slider is not able to bask and reach a proper body temperature, they can have digestion issues and lose their appetite.

In the wild these little turtles spend most of their time eating aquatic vegetation, invertebrates, tadpoles, and fish. Sliders have a sharp, ridged beak to help them tear up vegetation and use their highly developed vision to find prey. This can easily be recreated in captivity if you adjust your turtles diet as it ages.

Aim to feed your young turtles a diet of 70% protein five days a week. Frozen fish can sometimes build up toxic levels of enzymes, and any wild prey can carry parasites. It is important to research your local wildlife laws to determine if you can legally purchase one in your state.

If you are struggling to find a breeder, consider adopting a RedEared Slider from a rescue or facility that collects invasives. Make sure the eyes arent cloudy at all and examine the shell and skin for any sores or growths. Unlike any other pond turtle species, RedEared Sliders have a defining maroon-red stripe behind each ear.

The plastron, or bottom shell, is a bright yellow with a single dark, round blotch on each belly scute. The pastel variety has similar markings to the RedEared Slider but is paler in color. They are barely larger than a quarter, which makes it even more incredible to learn that the average adult is 5 to 12 inches across the shell.

RedEared Sliders are active turtles that spend most of their time swimming, foraging, and basking. If two turtles attempt to eat the same food, they will use gaping gestures, bite and push. When picking up your turtle, place your hand behind them and grip the top and bottom of their shell directly in line with the tail.

If your Slider is still scratching you, place them back in the enclosure and try handling again after your turtle has calmed down. Keepers love these turtles for their high activity levels and beautiful yellow, green and red colors. The widespread popularity of these turtles has led to them being released into the wild, putting pressure on ecosystems around the world.

Redeared sliders are native to the eastern and central United States river valleys. Most pet sliders are captive bred and hatched. Redeared sliders are hardy and outgoing.

Although pretty and personable as pets, redeared sliders occupy a niche of dark history in herpetoculture, first as transmitters of Salmonella bacteria to small children, second as an invasive species that have disturbed ecosystems throughout the waterways of the world. The former problem is the result of husbandry and marketing practices of large-scale commercial producers; the latter due to illegal release of unwanted pets.

Young redeared sliders are bright green with yellow markings and a red stripe just behind the eyes. Juveniles require a higher proportion of animal protein, while adults consume more plant matter. For long-term care of healthy adults, feed more plant material to control calorie intake: Dark, leafy greens such as collard, mustard, and dandelion greens make up the bulk (40%-60%) of the adult diet.

Fruit, such as apple, cantaloupe, melon, and berries, can be offered as an occasional treat. These freshwater turtles require both a large pool of water as well as an area of dry land for basking. As a general rule of thumb, provide hatchlings with 3-6 in (7.5-15 cm) of tap water.

Cage furniture/supplies Provide a dry haul-out area at one end of the enclosure using hardwood, pieces of cork, or a smooth, flat rock resting on submerged bricks or cinder block. Create enough of an incline so the turtle can climb out easily, and position an overhead light over one corner of the haul-out area to provide the basking spot. Perform frequent 50%-100% water changes or use a high quality filter and feed the turtle in a separate habitat.

Turtles grow at varied rates depending on the availability and quality of food. Females become sexually mature about the time the carapace reaches 6-7 in (15-18 cm) in length, which can take up to 5-7 years. The shell consists of bony plates covered with keratinized shields called scutes .

The lungs occupy the upper half of the coelomic cavity, and usually extend along its entire length. Sliders are easily held by the shell, however some individuals will scratch with their claws or reach their long necks around and bite the handler.

Factors Influencing Red Eared Slider’s Growth:

The growth rate of the Red Eared Sliders is not the same for all. It varies with so many factors. Those factors play a very crucial role in determining the growth potential your Red Eared Slider would reach in his lifetime.So let’s dive into knowing how these factors influence growth of a Red Eared Slider:

Diet Chart

All theMake sure you are not serving too much meat to your Red Eared Sliders as well. Try to maintain a perfect balance in the diet chart. Bring variations in the food from time to time so that the Red Eared Slider doesn’t lose its appetite.If you are having a hard time choosing a proper diet plan for your Red Eared Slider, you can always have a consultation with a veterinarian. He will surely help you out regarding this.

Age

All Red Eared Sliders are born from the egg. These eggs are very tiny in size. So hatchlings are also very tiny in size. But during this stage just like the human baby, they grow really very fast. This rapid growth rate will continue for 2-4 years. After that, naturally, it will start to slow down a bit.During the first years of life, turtles tend to grow 2-3 inches within a very short period of time. As they grow older it takes almost 14-20 months to grow an inch.However, the scenario is completely different for the Red Eared Sliders in the wild. In that atmosphere, the Red Eared Slider tends to grow even when it is older. In fact, in the wild, the older a turtle is, the more possibility there is of it to grow even more.The reason behind it is, when a Red Eared Slider is full-grown in the wild, then it is less likely for it to become prey for other animals. It doesn’t have to be careful during movement around other animals. It can eat and sleep without many risks around. It gets comfortable in its territory and what it has. Such comfort helps to grow even at a matured stage.Here is how you can

Gender of the Turtles

The gender of the turtle is also an important determinant for determining the growth potential. Generally, the female Red Eared Sliders have a bigger size comparing to the male ones. At the young stage, it is quite difficult to identify. But as time goes by it becomes prevalent and you can clearly identify that. Here’s how you canA female Red Eared Slider takes more place comparing to the male Red Eared Sliders. They need to keep the eggs inside them. Probably this is the reason for their getting big so much during this time. So I guess this is why biologically female Red Eared Turtles are a little bigger than the male ones.

Lighting System in the Tank

It is a common practice to use UVB light in the tank. It is the most convenient light for the Red Eared Turtles living in the tank. This UVB light has a vital role in the growth of a reptile living in an artificial environment and Red Eared Sliders are no different. Red Eared Sliders need to bask in the sun so that they can get exposed to having some vitamin D. UVB light does the same for them. It is essential to retain calcium in the body.Without having this UVB light, the Red Eared Sliders will fail to produce calcium in their body. It will drastically hamper bone and shell growth of your Red Eared Slider.Setting up a basking area for the Red Eared Sliders like the natural habitat can contribute significantly to their growth. It lets the turtle have the required vitamin D it needs for having enough calcium in the body. It is a must to have in the tank for the Red Eared Sliders. Here is theTurtles not having those UVB light or the perfect setup tend to have much slower growth than the usual.

Habitat

A perfect sized tank and enough water are needed to create a good habitat for a turtle. If a Red Eared Slider gets an ideal habitat for him with a well-built basking spot, then it will be able to reach its full potential of growth. Be sure to provide the best filter you can as it will ultimately control the total hygiene of your turtle tank.So you should make sure that you make a proper habitat for your turtles. This is how your turtle will be able to grow at a natural pace.

Red Eared Sliders In Wild

Pet turtles are more likely to have more growth rates than Wild turtles. It is because pet Red Eared Sliders get more care regarding all their necessities than the wild Red Eared Sliders. Often wild Red Eared Sliders fail to find foods for them or a suitable place to stay safe.The pet Red Eared Sliders get it all without much difficulty. So they have more growth potential than the wild ones.However, in the matured age, the growth rate of the Red Eared Slider living in the wild is more than those, which are living in the tank. It is due to the fact that they get more settled and have more coping mechanisms against the odds to live where they were living for the ages.

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Red Eared Slider’s Growth Rate:

I have a Red Eared Slider pet for almost 5 years. From the very beginning, I was very conscious of its growth rate and all. I wanted to make sure that I hadn’t left any stone unturned regarding the proper care of my Red Eared Slider. So, I journalized all major and little stuff about my turtle along the way.Here I will tell what I have come across till now. This will be totally based on my personal experience regarding my Red Eared Turtle.So when I brought my Red Eared Turtle home as a hatchling it was only 2-2.5 inches long. It was so adorable with this tiny size that I almost fell in love with it looking at it at the pet store. Instantly I decided to bring it home as my pet.After a few days, I realized my Red Eared slider was growing too fast. I decided to examine the growth of it in a proper manner. This is the stage they are prone to grow fast. So I saw it grew 2.5 to 3 inches more during the first year of bringing it home. I was pretty happy with the growth and continued giving it the same diet, environment and all.As it grew older, I realized the growth rate narrowed somehow, comparing with the earlier days. I didn’t know that it happens naturally back then. So, I was a little bit tensed. But after having proper research, I understood the fact that with age, the growth rate of pet Red Eared Slider also decreases.After the first year of life, the pet Red Eared Slider grew about an inch every year. This is what I found out after observing my Red Eared Slider very crucially.Some differences of growth nature can be found between the pet Red Eared Slider and the wild Red Eared Sliders. This thing happens because of the difference in the habitat they are living in for a long time.

Red Eared Slider Growth Chart:

As I have told you before I have a Red Eared Slider. I have closely observed everything related to it. In this segment, I would like to help you to get some idea about the expected growth potential of Red Eared Turtles at different ages.Remember there are so many variables associated with it. So this is not the absolute growth that your Red Eared Turtle might have. But clearly, this table can help you to get some clear idea regarding it and what to expect at a certain age.Since I was always in touch with a reptile veterinarian regarding the well-being of my turtle and always maintained a proper diet plan, ensured a proper environment, basking area, and everything, let’s assume ensuring all these how a Red Eared Turtle is expected to grow in the different stages:My Red Eared Slider is 8.5 inches long now and the age is almost 5.5 years. I need to wait some more time to know what will be the growth rate practically in the coming years. So after having a proper consultation with the veterinarian and those who already have the experience of having a Red Eared Turtle for a long time I have had some ideas regarding it.A pet Red Eared Slider can be as long as 12 inches at most. So, the weight of full-grown Red Eared Sliders stays between mostly 3-6 pounds. If they get the proper care they can live up to almost 30 years or more.

Final Words:

How big a Red Eared slider can get depends on so many determinants. Those are all discussed elaborately in this article to help you out to get some ideas about it. If you want to make sure that your Red Eared Slider reaches its full growth potential, you need to have close attention to all those factors and how they affect your Red Eared Slider.Also, crucially observe if everything that you are applying for the betterment of your Red Eared Slider is working out well for it or not. If not, try out different things that might work out for it positively.Even after following all do’s and don’ts you might have a few confusions regarding different nurturing ways of your Red Eared Slider. In such cases don’t forget to have a consultation session with a reptile veterinarian.

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Penn Plax Turtle Topper

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Red Eared Slider Diet

Want to know one of the biggest factors that influence red eared sliders size?Their Diet.What kind of food you give to your red eared sliders will determine their growth. Red eared sliders are omnivores, and in general, a healthy baby turtle will accept a wide variety of foods.However, not every type of food will have the same effect on their growth. As we said earlier, red eared sliders are omnivores, which means their diet consists of vegetables, fruits, and meat. A balanced diet is a key to raising a healthy turtle, however, a protein-based diet will affect the overall growth the most.Don’t get me wrong. That doesn’t mean that you should feed your turtle just with meat. On the contrary, to make sure they live longer and healthier life feed them a variety of foods.

Age of the Red Eared Slider

Baby red eared slider turtles are small in size, reaching no more than 1 inch in length.However, they don’t stay that small forever. The first years of their lives are crucial in terms of growth.With a balanced diet, assuming all other conditions are met, you can expect your baby turtle to reach size up to 3 inches in the first year or two. As they get older, their growth rate will slow down reaching 12 inches as adults.

Gender Differences

In their juvenile period, all red eared sliders have similar sizes. In a matter of fact, it’s very difficult to distinguish the females from the males when they are babies.However, as they grow up, they’ll start to look a little different from each other. Females grow at faster rates than males.If you compare an adult female with an adult male red eared slider you’ll easily notice that females have a bigger appearance.

About Red-Eared Sliders

RedEared Sliders (The most attractive feature of this turtle is its appearance. These Sliders are known for theirThis turtle is perfect for beginners because they are cheap, easy to breed, and small in size.
If this was not enough, in 2018, Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was officially confirmed to be a RedEared Slider. This increased their popularity among children.Unfortunately, their popularity with inexperienced keepers has caused many to be released in the wild.They are the most popular turtle in the world in the pet trade. Between 1989 and 1997 52 million were exported from the United States. That’s just exported out of the US!

A Turtle Is Not Just For Christmas

Many redeared sliders have since been released outside of their native range, either as abandoned pets or as part of rituals.As a result, the RedEared Slider has become one of the most invasive species and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Breeding populations have been discovered in a variety of new US states, European countries, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Central America.Its presence in non-native areas causes significant problems for wild turtle populations, as they can easily outcompete native turtles and other native species for resources. Because of this, in areas such as Oregon, you need a permit to keep one.According to the Global Invasive Species Database, they pose an extreme risk, not just to native turtle species, but to other native wildlife and even humans.So it’s important that you should understand the care any Slider needs before adopting one.Like most aquatic turtles, they need an aquarium with plenty of space, décor, and perches. Heat and UVB are also essential, so fixtures and thermostats are needed to create a suitable habitat. It can be difficult for first time keepers to set up and maintain a proper tank for these turtles.These small, beautiful and active turtles can be very rewarding. However, consistent care is important to maintaining their health.

Tank Size, Heating, Lighting, and Setup

RedEared Slider turtles are most commonly kept in glass or acrylic aquariums, although they can also be housed in stock tanks or outdoor ponds. If you use a metal stock tank, you will need a pond liner to prevent chemical leakage into the water.These turtles require lots of space to live and swim.An average-sized adult needsA good rule of thumb is that the tank should be 5x the length of your turtle, 3x as wide and at least 2x as tall.Heating and lighting, are equally as important to the health of your slider.As they are cold-blooded reptiles, indoor sliders need basking sites. They will need a UVB lamp over the basking spot.Indoor sliders will need a UVB lamp over their basking spot. To avoid health complications, your turtle needs access to a tube-style, full-spectrum 10.0 UVB bulb. It is important to make sure that the logs and perches are placed within the high effectivity distance of the bulb. This light should be on 12 to 14 hours per day.For the basking spot, you should use a material that your turtle can easily climb onto without scratching itself, such as cork or a smooth rock. Your basking spot should be at the water level.You should set theIf the ambient room temperature is at or above 75℉, a UVB lamp over the basking spot is sufficient for heating. If not you can use a ceramic heat emitter or infrared heat bulb with a wattage that is appropriate for your tank.Generally, the water temperature should be between 74 and 78℉If the temperature is below 74℉, you will need a submersible water heater. You should use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the water and not rely on your heater’s settings.Substrate at the bottom of the tank is not necessary, but it can make your aquarium look nicer. However, it will make cleaning more difficult, so many keepers choose to avoid substrate in turtle tanks.If you would like to include a substrate, the best option is river pebbles. Just make sure that they are not small enough to be swallowed, as this can harm your slider.With décor, less is more. You want your turtle to have plenty of room to exercise freely. Aquatic plants can be used, but your turtle might eat them or uproot them. Large rocks or driftwood pieces can be used to create a dynamic swimming environment. If you use large river rocks, make sure that they are smooth and won’t injure your slider. You can secure rocks into your enclosure with a nontoxic aquarium sealant.Finally, remember to install a filter capable of cleaning the aquarium. Between food waste and fecal matter, these tanks can become dirty quickly and lead to health issues.Purchasing an aquarium, UVB light and fixture, heat lamp and fixture, thermometers and thermostats, water heater, décor, and a high-quality filtration system will cost $400 to $700. This may seem expensive, but these items are essential to your turtle’s health.

How Long Do Red-Eared Sliders Live?

RedEared Sliders are capable of living for decades. In the wild, red sliders can live from 20 to 50 years. Pet turtles typically don’t live as long, but you can expect your turtle toIt is quite common for Sliders to get sick because of husbandry-related issues like shell rot, skin ulcers, respiratory problems, conjunctivitis and metabolic bone disease. Many reptile veterinarians treat RedEared Sliders with illnesses that could easily have been prevented with proper care.Shell rot and skin ulcers are typically caused by poor enclosure maintenance or a lack of heat.Without regular water changes and cleaning, these turtles are at an increased risk of developing smelly, rotting sores on their shells and skin. Shell rot is a bacterial or fungal infection, which often shows as a light-colored spot on the shell. This infection can spread to other parts of your turtle’s body, so it is very important to get it treated as soon as possible.To help maintain clean water, use a filter capable of cleaning tanks five times the size of the one you are using to account for the increased fecal and food waste in an aquatic turtle tank. Partial water changes with water testing are also essential, but time-consuming.Like most other pet reptiles, Red-Ears require Ultraviolet B (UVB) lighting along with their calcium supplements to grow and develop properly. If they are kept outdoors, they will receive UVB rays from the sun, but if they are kept indoors, you will need to implement a UVB lamp.Without UVB lighting they will develop deformities, soft bones, and soft shells.Finally, if a RedEared Slider is not able to bask and reach a proper body temperature, they can have digestion issues and lose their appetite. Some turtles may swim lopsidedly, as congestion distorts the turtle’s balance.These health issues are all simple to prevent with proper husbandry and diet.

Red-Eared Slider Turtle Facts

RedEared Sliders are omnivores with a wide variety of food preferences.In the wild these little turtles spend most of their time eating aquatic vegetation, invertebrates, tadpoles, and fish. Sliders have a sharp, ridged beak to help them tear up vegetation and use their highly developed vision to find prey.Juvenile turtles eat a mostly carnivorous diet, butAim to feed your young turtles a diet of 70% protein five days a week. To ensure a proper diet, make sure to also offer greens for them to graze on. Adults should be fed a diet of 20% protein by only feeding prey twice a week. Greens should be offered every day.Some good foods include:However, you should not feed your slider the following:If you want to feed fish, then avoid fatty species like goldfish and always feed them fresh, captive-bred fish. Frozen fish can sometimes build up toxic levels of enzymes, and any wild prey can carry parasites.Be cautious with fruits and only use them as treats since they can cause diarrhea in reptiles.You should supplement their diet with a multivitamin to ensure your turtle is getting a well-rounded diet. A multivitamin with calcium and vitamin D3 can be added to meals twice a week. You can also offer high-quality nutritional pellets, but this should not exceed 25% of their diet.

Buying Guide

RedEared Sliders are invasive in most parts of the world. It is important toYou can get a Slider from pet stores, breeders, large-scale dealers, or rescue organizations. Generally, breeders will be the most knowledgeable of their turtles’ histories. If someone is trying to sell you hatchlings less than four inches long, you should not purchase from them. The sale of turtles less than four inches is illegal in the U.S.If you are struggling to find a breeder, consider adopting a RedEared Slider from a rescue or facility that collects invasives.When choosing your turtle, look for signs that they are healthy. The Slider should be active and have quick reflexes when approached or prodded. If you pull at one of their legs (gently), you should receive a strong response. If they are approached, they should slide into the water.The shell should be smooth, hard, and not have any dark or light spots. The shell should also not have any scratches or other damage.Make sure the eyes aren’t cloudy at all and examine the shell and skin for any sores or growths. If the turtle is active, healthy, and clean, then bring it home!

Appearance

Sliders are beautifully patterned pond turtles. Unlike any other pond turtle species, RedEared Sliders have a definingRed-Eared Sliders have olive green-brown carapaces, or “top shells”, that are divided into plate-like sections called “scutes.” As they age, the shell may turn darker, becoming almost black. The scutes along the edge of the shell are outlined in a bright yellow. The plastron, or “bottom shell”, is a bright yellow with a single dark, round blotch on each belly scute. Their shells are also more dome-shaped than other flat-shelled turtles.Their legs, head, and tail are a dark green color with yellow stripes.Some turtles can come in pastel and albino morphs, although these colorings are not usually seen in the wild.The pastel variety has similar markings to the RedEared Slider but is paler in color. The albino variety can appear almost entirely yellowish-white, except for the red stripes behind the eyes.

Size

Hatchling RedEared Sliders are absolutely adorable. They are barely larger than a quarter, which makes it even more incredible to learn that the average adult is 5 to 12 inches across the shell.When they first emerge from their eggs, hatchlings are extremely small, at about one inch in length. Females will grow to be around 10 to 12 inches in length, andFemales reach sexual maturity at between 6 to 8 inches in carapace length and 5 to 7 years in age. Male redeared sliders reach sexual maturity at between 3 to 4 inches in length and 3 to 5 years in age.Males and females are also easily distinguished by appearance. Males have a longer, thinner tail and much longer fingernails on the front legs. Females have much shorter nails for nest digging.Adult RedEared Sliders can be sexed primarily by the difference in size between the full-grown male and female. Hatchlings are not easily sexed.

Normal Behavior

RedEared Sliders are active turtles that spend most of their timeWhen basking, these turtles lookout for predators and can dive into the water at a moment’s notice. If they happen to be on land, they can pull in their arms and legs to protect themselves too.Wild Sliders are aggressive and competitive, especially when feeding. They compete both within their own species and with other turtle species. If two turtles attempt to eat the same food, they will use gaping gestures, bite and push. Open-mouth or gaping gestures, especially if they are aimed at other turtles, are a sign of aggression. However, pet turtles tend to be more passive.As a pet, they will spend much of the daytime basking on a perch directly beneath the basking heat source. If you notice that your turtle is avoiding the heat, that could be a sign of issues.Aside from basking, they will also dive into the water to explore frequently. Healthy Sliders tend to be alert, curious, and inquisitive.

Handling A Red-Eared Slider

RedEared Sliders can be handled safely, butIf they feel threatened they may retreat into their shells and bite at you. If your turtle reacts in this way, it is best to reduce handling. However, some Sliders may feel comfortable being handled.When picking up your turtle, place your hand behind them and grip the top and bottom of their shell directly in line with the tail. Hold them as you would a hamburger. If your Slider is still scratching you, place them back in the enclosure and try handling again after your turtle has calmed down.Before and after handling you should consider your own health.RedEared Sliders are known to be carriers of salmonella, so hand-washing before and after holding is necessary to prevent spreading disease.

Natural history

Redeared sliders are native to the eastern and central United States river valleys. Most pet sliders are captive bred and hatched. Redeared sliders are hardy and outgoing.Although pretty and personable as pets, redeared sliders occupy a niche of dark history in herpetoculture, first as transmitters of

Color and Size

Young redeared sliders are bright green with yellow markings and a red stripe just behind the eyes. Colors dull with age.Male redeared sliders are smaller than females, but they have longer tails. Adults typically range from 5-9 inches (13-23 cm) in length, although females may reach 12-13 in (30-33 cm).

Husbandry

Redeared sliders are omnivores. Juveniles require a higher proportion of animal protein, while adults consume more plant matter. Generally, young healthy sliders or sick hospitalized sliders do best when fed commercial pelleted foods and then offered snacks for variety. For long-term care of healthy adults, feed more plant material to control calorie intake:Feed adults once every 2-3 days; juveniles require daily feeding. Feed sliders in the water.Aquatic turtles are messy eaters and foods can interfere with the filters needed to keep turtle tanks clean. Pet sliders may be fed in a separate tank in which water can be discarded after each meal.

Lifespan

Average lifespan ranges from 15-25 years although sliders can live much, much longer.The age of sexual maturity depends more on size rather than age. Turtles grow at varied rates depending on the availability and quality of food. Males reach sexual maturity about the time their carapace (upper shell) length reaches 4 inches (10 cm), which tends to be anywhere from 2-5 years. Females become sexually mature about the time the carapace reaches 6-7 in (15-18 cm) in length, which can take up to 5-7 years.

Important medical conditions

Redeared sliders are very hardy. Problems seen in captivity can include:-Pneumonia-Skin and shell infections